Energy

Tesla Wants to Turn Every Home Into a Distributed Power Plant

Tesla Wants to Turn Every Home Into a Distributed Power Plant

The world’s leading electric automaker and chief of executive, Elon Musk, wants to turn every home into a distributed power plant. This means every house will be able to generate, store and deliver energy back into the electricity grid.

Tesla have been selling solar and energy storage products for years. Though the company recently instituted a new policy to only sell solar and energy storage products bundled together, revealing the company’s latest strategy to scale these businesses in the utilities space.

Elon Musk said that Tesla aims to improve energy reliability, noting that the rolling blackouts in California last summer and the recent winter storm that left Texas with multi-billion energy deficit as an evidence of grid reliability.

The company changed its website to prevent the customers from buying only solar or its Powerwall energy storage product. Instead, the customers are required to purchase a system to go along with the energy storage products.

Elon Musk later clarified in a tweet that the solar power products is designed to feed exclusively to the Powerwall energy storage. The Powerwall is built to interface between utility meter and house main breaker panel that allows it to serve as a seamless backup energy during the blackouts.

His pitch is that the energy grid needs to have more power lines, more power plants and renewable storages. Converting the existing homes into a distributed power plants using the Tesla products will provide a better path to improve energy and grid reliability.

Tesla Distributed Power Plant Concept

According to a recent research study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the United States can achieve a zero-carbon grid by doubling its transmission capacity. Princeton University, on the other hand shows that the country needs to triple its transmission systems by 2050 to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

Turning the residential homes into a distributed power plants is a radical idea of how a electricity grid system should look like than the one we have right now, which is centrally controlled by grid operators and often riddled with bureaucratic and logistical challenges.

This also means the utilities will need to find a way to solve major issues such as large influx of distributed energy resources coming from the solar panels on residential roofs.

While the goal to decarbonize the energy grid is a hot topic. The experts believes that the demands, storage requirements and intermittency issues of renewable energy that aims to transform the country into a primary electricity generator a pipe dream.

But Elon Musk have been bullish on the renewable storage models. He tweeted last July that physics favors electric transport and batteries for stationary storage and solar / wind for energy generation.

If the goal is to improve grid reliability and ensuring that the homeowners and business owners can still obtain energy in times of extreme weather. Then converting the homes and buildings into a distributed power plant could be the way to increase self-reliability and drive down the overall energy cost.

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